Here's a Letter to the Editor of the Mercury Times from local Charles Voltz who is doing a great job keeping people like Ron Diridon honest--or at least trying to keep them honest:
Answers on rail are misleading
Ron Diridon Sr.'s recent "answers" on high-speed rail issues (Opinion, Aug. 22) are chock-full of misleading half-truths. Here's one example.
Diridon incorrectly asserts that "if California or the Caltrain corridor miss that (2012 federal funding) deadline, our billions (of dollars) and tens of thousands of jobs will be reallocated to corridors in other states." Wrong.
If high-speed rail's plans for the Caltrain corridor should miss that deadline, the federal money at issue would just go to one of the other high-speed rail corridor projects in California that met the deadline.
On Aug. 6, High Speed Rail (HSR) submitted separate and independent requests for federal funding of four California corridors, only one of which was for the Caltrain corridor. HSR expressly advised the federal agency of its "fallback" position, namely, that if any of these four corridor projects failed to meet the deadline, the available federal funding should be applied to one of the remaining California corridors.
If and only if all four HSR corridor projects missed the deadline would any federal funds be reallocated to other states.
Charles E. Voltz
The are various reasons why I call HSR "high cost rail"--the building costs are spiraling ever upward and don't include some key aspects of the station design that the CHSRA have ignored, the operating costs are totally underestimated and the cost to local cities in lost revenue and property values is immense. Lastly, the idea that federal funding is somehow "free money" to be hogged is absolutely false.